There are plenty of commercially available solutions to dealing with pesky weeds in your lawn or garden. However, while they might be an excellent option for dealing with weeds, most of these products include toxic chemicals like Glyphosate. These chemicals can be dangerous for people, animals, and the environment.
For a lot of us, our pet is a member of the family, and keeping them safe is a priority. That’s why I encourage you to ditch the chemicals and find a new solution to dealing with weeds. Using an organic weed killer and doesn’t pose negative health risks to you, your family, or your pets.
The products I’ll be looking at in this article are:
- Best overall: Green Gobbler 20% Horticultural Vinegar Weed Killer
- Runner up: Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed & Grass Killer
- Natural Armor Weed and Grass Killer
- Best natural weed preventer: Espoma Organic Weed Preventer
- Preen Natural Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer
Why Use an Organic Weed Killer?
Using organic weed control products is an environmentally responsible and health-conscious choice that offers many benefits. These are just some of the benefits these natural products have over their artificial counterparts.
Artificial weed treatment products like RoundUp contain dangerous chemicals like Glyphosate. Glyphosate is a carcinogen and can pose health risks to children or pets when sprayed in a residential area.
This is in stark contrast to organic products, which are free of any harmful chemicals. This makes them safe to use anywhere and a responsible choice for residential use.
Safer for the environment
Chemical herbicides are dangerous for birds, can contaminate runoff water, and might be one of the causes behind bees dying. Organic weed killing products are biodegradable and pose much less risk to the environment.
Organic weed killers are made using sustainable natural ingredients. The active ingredients in organic weed killers are all derived from plants. It’s all-natural, and it’s sustainable because you can keep growing these crops over and over.
Certified organic by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), this powerful weed killer makes short work of most weeds. It’s made using a highly concentrated vinegar distilled from corn which is four times the strength of table vinegar.
This weed controller made by Green Gobbler is seriously strong. After spraying it on a sunny day, it will kill almost all weeds or grass in less than 24-hours. It is effective against broadleaf weeds, including crabgrass, dandelions, and thistles, which it will kill on contact.
With no harmful chemicals, this certified organic weed killer is safe to use around your home and in the garden. It’s ideal to use on pavement cracks, patios, mulch, or for targeted spot applications in the yard or garden.
- Fast-acting and powerful
- Will eliminate any plants its sprayed on
- The manufacturer offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
- It has a strong vinegar smell that will hang around for the rest of the day.
- It’s effective on tough plants, but some may need two applications.
- It doesn’t always kill the root, so some weeds can grow back.
Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed Killer is an organic weed killing solution made from soap, vinegar, and ocean saltwater. It does not contain any harmful chemicals and is a pet and child-safe option for dealing with weeds.
This product is not only safe for pets and humans, but also the environment. That’s in part because it’s not only non-toxic, but also biodegradable, so it won’t risk spreading and harming any nearby plant life. It’s a nonselective herbicide and will kill any plants it’s sprayed on before harmlessly evaporating. It’s also sustainably sourced and manufactured by a small family-run business.
This weed killer is sold ready to spray, and it becomes weather-proof within an hour of spraying it. After spraying, it will take only a few hours before you see a noticeable change, and within 24 hours, it will have killed most weeds. This product is well suited to be used in gardens, flower beds, pavement cracks, and spot applications on troublesome lawn weeds.
This formula is one of the fastest-acting pet-friendly weed killing products on the market, and we’re confident in recommending it.
- Eliminates most weeds in less than 24-hours
- Weather-proof after 1-hour
- Struggles with some tougher weeds, in some cases it may need 2-3 applications
This all-natural weed and grass killer made by Natural Armor is an organic weed control product safe for use around pets and children.
Instead of vinegar, this product uses the natural power of citric acid and clove oil to combat weeds and grasses. This combination is enough to knock out most weeds in less than 24-hours, though it won’t take out the roots of plants
Natural Armor Weed and Grass Killer is made with a concentrated formula that the makers claim can kill more than 250 types of weeds and grasses. This makes it a great general use weed and grass killer able to handle most jobs you have for it.
Best of all, if it doesn’t work for you, the company backs it up with a satisfaction guarantee and will refund you no questions asked if it doesn’t work for you.
- Kills a wide variety of weeds and grasses
- Nontoxic and safe for use around pets and children
- The spray nozzle included with the product is low quality
- The spray has a very strong smell
- Does not effectively eliminate roots
Espoma Organic Weed Preventer is an organic weed and feed product. It’s made from corn gluten meal, an all-natural byproduct from the manufacturing of cornstarch.
Weed and feed is a generic name for products that both strengthen grass and control weeds in one application. Epoma’s corn gluten spread prevents weeds while providing nitrogen to the soil as it naturally decays. This feeds your lawn and leads to thicker and greener grass.
This product doesn’t kill weeds that are already grown. Instead, it prevents new ones from growing in the first place. It does this without hurting any already grown plants by preventing seeds from successfully sprouting roots. Spreading it in March and April before weeds can start taking root will keep your yard weed-free over the summer.
- Prevents troublesome weeds from taking root
- Children and pets can safely play on the lawn after application
- Also safe for use in vegetable gardens
- Will not prevent the regrowth of weeds with established roots, including perennial weeds.
- You will not be able to plant anything in the applied area for 6 months after spreading this product without scraping away the topsoil.
This product by Preen is another organic weed and feed product that prevents weeds from growing in your lawn or garden.
Preen Natural Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer is also made with 100% corn gluten meal. It naturally provides nitrogen to soil while preventing new weeds from growing in the soil. This means a healthy and weed-free lawn or garden.
It’s also entirely safe for pets or kids to be around and play on the lawn even after you have just applied it.
Something that I really like about Preen’s version of this product is that the container it comes in has a filter cap that makes spreading it fast and easy. This is only the case with the smaller options though. Larger sizes of this product are sold in a bag instead.
- Flip-top applicator cap makes it easy to apply
- An excellent choice to prevent weeds in your vegetable or herb garden
- Prevents crabgrass, dandelions, clover, and other common weeds
- More expensive per pound than Epoma Organic Weed Preventer
- It can prevent friendly plants from growing for up to 2 months while active in the soil unless you scrape away the topsoil when planting or transplanting plants.
What is the best pet safe organic weed killer?
Each of the products reviewed in this article are excellent organic options for weed control that I would happily recommend. Of all of them, the one that I’d choose as the winner would be Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer. It eliminates weeds quickly and only needs a second pass to take out the absolute toughest weeds.
It’s quick to apply, and it doesn’t take long to see it start working. I’m also confident in making the recommendation because it is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee by the manufacturer. This way, if it turns out that for some reason you aren’t happy with it, you can get a full refund.
I would also recommend Epoma Organic Weed Preventer to prevent weeds from growing to begin with. It also feeds the soil as it breaks down, leading to a healthier lawn or healthier plants in your garden. It’s made of 100% corn meal gluten just like Preen Natural Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer but is usually sold at a lower price per pound.
How do organic weed killers work?
Organic weed killers don’t contain harmful chemicals like Glyphosate, instead they use natural alternatives to accomplish the same jobs. There are a few different common ingredients that natural weed killers use to accomplish these tasks. These are some of the most common ones:
Vinegar is an organic product that can be made from fruits and grains by fermenting them. The process is a lot like the one used to make alcohol only with a few extra steps involved. This process creates a substance called acetic acid, which is what provides vinegar with its plant-killing power.
When its sprayed onto the leaves of a plant, vinegar kills it by draining out the plant’s moisture. At the higher concentrations of acetic acid in horticultural vinegar, this effect is amplified.
Clove oil is an essential oil that’s derived from clove trees by distilling dried flower buds that are collected from the tree. It contains a natural compound called eugenol that gives it similar plant-killing powers to vinegar. Like vinegar, when it is sprayed onto the leaves of a plant, clove oil will pull out the moisture of that plant to destroy it.
Salt also dries out plants either through contact with their leaves or roots. There is some danger with using salt in areas where you still want plants to be able to grow because it can stay in the soil and raise its salinity. Therefore, products containing it usually only have a small percentage or warn that it should not be used in gardens or on lawns.
This does makes these mixtures very useful for places like cracks in your driveway where you do not want anything to grow back.
Corn Gluten Meal
A byproduct of creating cornstarch, corn gluten meal has natural pre-emergent weed control properties. This means that it can prevent weeds from taking root and growing. It’s also high in nitrogen and enriches the soil as it breaks down, making it a popular choice as an all-natural weed and feed alternative.
While active in the soil it will also prevent any seeds you try to plant from growing, so it’s a good idea to apply it only after your plants have sprouted. Alternatively, you could also scrape away the topsoil in the location you are planting the seed to remove the corn gluten meal from that spot while planting.
What are other methods of natural weed control that I can try?
There are some proven methods of natural weed control that you can perform at your home without needing to buy a commercial weed killer.
Using mulch to cover empty space in your yard or garden is a great way to prevent unsightly weeds.
Not only does an excellent organic mulch look great, but it prevents plant growth by depriving them of the sunlight they need to survive. This is just one of the many benefits that mulch can bring to a garden.
Probably the most straightforward and cheapest method of dealing with a small patch of weeds is throwing boiling water onto it. Boiling water will kill most plant life that you throw it onto.
This makes pouring boiling hot water onto weeds can be an effective way to deal with a small patch of weeds. It won’t prevent them from growing back though.
Using organic weed killers like Green Gobbler Weed Killer and other natural methods of weed control is a responsible way to keep yourself, your family and your pets safe. It also helps protect the environment with biodegradable ingredients that are sustainability grown. Join the growing revolution towards green gardening today.